In 2020, we scaled back. We played it safe. We learned to appreciate the little things. And we’re not just talking about our relationships or our social interactions — we’re talking about our dinner plates.

After a year defined by all the things we were missing, it’s safe to say that we all deserve to exercise our right to self-love. So in 2021, we’re flipping the script to introduce a new approach to the way we eat — we call it mindful feasting. But what does it mean to “mindfully feast”? It means treating yourself to the foods that bring you joy, nourish you with the good stuff, and — most importantly — make your tastebuds sing. 

Preparing a meal at home that checks all these boxes can be quite the project. So we teamed up with Simple Feast to show you how their chef-designed, plant-based meal kits delivered right to your door make the whole process, well, simple. Still unclear on the fine art of mindful feasting? Here are some tips to remember:

Focus on ingredients.

We at mbg are firm believers in the idea that pleasure should never feel guilty. But in the wellness world, it’s easy to feel a little sheepish after we enjoy an “indulgent” meal. On the other hand, when your meals are made with quality, wholesome ingredients, the concept of “indulging” becomes way more guilt-free.

Plant-based, locally-sourced ingredients are the foundation of a mindful feast. If you see things like refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, or anything your grandma wouldn’t recognize as “food” among the first things on a label, it probably shouldn’t be on your plate. If you see the word “organic” more than once, you’re probably on the right track.

Prioritize plants.

Pop quiz time: What’s the one diet that can boost your immune system, help maintain your healthy lifestyle, AND reduce your carbon footprint? (You read the subhead, you know the answer).

Add to all of this that a plant-based diet is also great for cognitive health, tames inflammation, and promotes healthy cellular aging, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a mindful feast. When your plate is stacked high with from-the-earth foods that are bursting with vibrant colors, suddenly the concept of “stuffing your face” seems downright healthy.

Don’t think plants can be indulgent? The days of sad, bland bowls of lettuce are well behind us. These days, plant-based can also be the most delicious way of eating as well (in addition to the laundry list above). Don’t believe us? Go check out what’s new on Simple Feast and tell us it doesn’t make your mouth water.

Embrace variety.

2020 was an inflection point in the way we all cook and eat. For the last year or so, our lives have taken place almost entirely indoors, and the home cooking movement has absolutely exploded (see: the sourdough starter in your fridge that wasn’t there in 2019). But with these resurgences in preparing all of our meals at home, we’ve also been introduced to the idea of cooking fatigue. And if you ask us (which you should because we invented the phrase), a Mindful Feast should be one that you enjoy making.

The easiest, most impactful way to avoid cooking fatigue is to keep things fresh (pun only slightly intended). Make it a point to prioritize variety in your daily meals, and go out of your way to discover new and unfamiliar flavors to keep your taste buds on the edge of their seat. And you don’t need a restaurant to achieve this, either — Simple Feast crafts their weekly menus with superstar chefs from some of the world’s best restaurants.

Keep it close.

Perhaps the most important criteria in a mindful feast is that it has to make your taste buds sing songs of joyous celebration. And we’re firm believers that creating the best-tasting dishes starts with the freshest, most locally-sourced foods you can find. Our favorite meals are the ones whose ingredients travel the shortest possible distance to your table.